How to Treat Bed Bug Bites

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So...the bed bugs bit you, too? Even if you're meticulous about selecting where you sleep, if you do a lot of traveling you'll still run into those little critters eventually. Unpleasant, yes, but you can treat the bites the same way you treat other bug bites. Here's how...

  • Wash EVERYTHING. Bedding, blankets, sheets, pillows, pajamas...anything of yours that might have come in contact with the bed bugs. You don't want to take them with you.

    If the outbreak occurred in your own home, clean the rug (or have it cleaned), and the mattress. You will continue to have problems if you don't take charge of this.

  • Once you are sure the bugs are gone, you need to treat your own bites. First, wash the affected area very well, with soap and water.

  • Next, use an acidic agent like apple cider vinegar, or rubbing alcohol (regular alcohol or even perfume/cologne will work just fine in a pinch). Using a cotton ball or tissue, dab the vinegar or alcohol over each spot. This really takes the itch away, and works great on mosquito bites as well!

    I learned this trick while in Africa, where mosquitoes cause a lot of trouble.

  • If the itchiness still bothers you, you might want to take regular oatmeal baths until the bites heal. This involves soaking in a bath with 1-2 cups powdered (pulverized) plain oatmeal. It's great for relieving itchy skin.

  • Lavender oil, if available, is also good for relieving itchiness from bed bug bites. Apply it directly to the itchy areas. The smell is also calming. Eucalyptus oil is also useful, and can be applied in the same way.

  • Photo Credit Jiří Humpolíček, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License.
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